David Berger (theologian)

David Berger ( born March 8, 1968 in Würzburg ) is a Roman Catholic theologian, philosopher and editor of gay lifestyle magazine men. He lives with his longtime partner since August 2012 in Berlin. His work focuses on the history and doctrine of Thomism as well as homosexuality and the Roman Catholic Church. His coming-out as a gay man was followed by a controversy over the status of homosexuals in the Catholic Church. In May 2011, he withdrew from the Archbishopric of Cologne, the Church's teaching authority on the issue of Catholic religious instruction.


Berger studied from 1991 to 1998 in Würzburg, Cologne and Dortmund philosophy, theology and German. In 1998, the promotion was in philosophy. Berger was awarded the split Dissertation Award of the University of Dortmund for the Faculty of Social Science, Philosophy and Theology, and then taught for a short time at the Theological School of the Congregation of the Servants of Jesus and Mary in Blindenmarkt ( Lower Austria), in the diocese of St. Pölten.

Along with Rudolf Michael Schmitz ( Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest), he founded the 2000/2001 yearbook Doctor Angelicus. In January 2001, the appointment was followed for Socio Corrispondente of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas, and on 25 September 2003 Berger was awarded the status of " Corresponding Academician " this Academy; In the same year he became vice president of the newly founded German Thomas - Gesellschaft eV; President: Michael P. Dillmann O.P.

In autumn 2003, Berger was elected to the co-editor of the Catholic monthly magazine Theological and charged him with the editorial board.

In 2005, Berger habilitation with his book Thomism. Large leitmotifs of the Thomistic synthesis and its relevance for the present in dogmatics at the Catholic University of Lublin in Poland. On 2 October 2005 saw his investiture as Knight of the Order of Knights founded in 1991 Polish of Our Lady of Jasna Góra (Polish: Stowarzyszenie Rycerstwa Orderu Jasnogórskiej Bogarodzicy ). According to Berger, he gave in July 2007, this item back, but even without open protest against what he now called conservatism and homophobia certain, this order of knights of related Polish politician.

In the fall of 2007, the Promotion of the journal Theological Berger spoke again their confidence and confirmed him in his office after it had been made in certain traditionalist circles for months of the trial, according to Berger's representation to oust him as editor.

In May 2009, Berger became a lecturer at the Pontifical Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith ordered with the task of monitoring two theological journals.

End of March 2010 were the allegations of again in 2007 to date, as Berger's Facebook profile " clearly the rootedness in a homosexual milieu" would like to express. Before a scheduled by the Executive Board of the Advancement of " clarifying conversation" put Berger from the post of editor of the journal Theological down, but protested against the views expressed by Manfred Hauke ​​allegations before settling on 23 April 2010 in a written article he in the Frankfurter Rundschau outed as a homosexual. The decisive and final reason for his coming-out, so Berger, a statement made by Bishop Franz -Josef Overbeck regarding the sinfulness of homosexuality in the TV show Anne Will was. Him the status of " Corresponding academics " in the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas was withdrawn in July 2010.

Immediately after publication of his book The holy appearance (November 2010) examined the Archdiocese of Cologne, whether the teaching license he had to withdraw as a religion teacher. On 2 May 2011 the archbishop of Cologne deprived him of this with immediate effect. This resulted in pupils and their parents to protests and a demonstration march to the office of the archbishop in Cologne, which was attended by about 400 to 500 students.

Berger is now " in protest ... left the Roman Catholic Church as a body governed by public law ", but still considers himself as Catholics.

Between 2011 and 2013 he worked as a freelance journalist, inter alia, for the daily newspaper ( taz), the weekly newspaper Die Zeit and the magazines Cicero and Vice. Berger is since May 1, 2013 Editor in Chief of appearing in Bruno Gmunder Verlag lifestyle magazine men. In a controversial article, he called in May 2013 to the exclusion of " gay haters " of talk shows.

Theological field of activity

David Berger is a representative of neo-Thomism and was for a time as a vehement opponent of the theology of Karl Rahner and his students. Berger is editor of the co-founders of the International Thomistic Yearbook Doctor Angelicus, which no longer appears, however, since 2007. From 2003 to 2010 he was also the publisher and editor of the magazine founded by William Schamoni Theology: Catholic monthly magazine.

David Berger himself commented on the relevance of Thomism, inter alia, as follows: " The doctrine of the holy teacher provides less detailed panaceas for individual questions to be solved. What she has to say with regard to the mitzugestaltende of us future of the church and theology, goes far beyond short-term instructions also. There are, so to speak basic settings or leitmotifs, the very fact that they show us a real alternative to the dominant in society, church and theology leitmotifs that have the highest relevance for the new century. Perhaps one can say that there never was a time when the reputation of the church Ite ad Thomam: Go to Thomas was as current as it is today. "

To Bergers against Rahner's theology directed contributions Rahner expressed the student Herbert Vorgrimler after he had previously been heavily criticized by Berger " Berger will use every means, his moral inhibitions is always lower. It is subject to instinctual compulsion to hunt for Rahner and to those who keep Rahner. His illness is, getting them ready ', the lurch and insult - Do. " Berger has now qualifying his criticism of Rahner.

Since his coming-out and the publication of his book The holy appearance Berger v. employs a critical look at the attitude of the Catholic Church on homosexuality. During the final rally of protest against the Pope's visit to Berlin in September 2011, he was one of the speakers. Here he criticized the reasoning advanced by the Pope in the Bundestag doctrine of natural law as philosophically obsolete and saw in it the basis for homophobic settings.

Confrontation with kreuz.net

Berger occurs Pope Benedict XVI since taking office. are rooted as opponents of a name for the Fraternity of St. Pius X by him and on the extreme right-wing blog kreuz.net " Vulgärtraditionalismus " and suspected links between the disputed site and the Fraternity; He has, however, revised based on new evidence in October 2012 this assumption and assumes behind kreuz.net stuck in the ecclesial service associates. On kreuz.net Berger has repeatedly threatened to life and limb.

In October 2012 Berger took over the coordination of the Bruno Gmunder Verlag initiated " Bounty Action ", with the intention to investigate a reward of 15,000 euros, the operators of kreuz.net with the aim of final conviction. He argues that kreuz.net reflected the conservative turn of the Catholic Church to the extreme. While the German Bishops' Conference did not support this campaign, the Roman Catholic Church in Austria and the Swiss Bishops Conference worked with Berger. In the fall of 2012, and the network connections between kreuz.net Catholic priest turned out.

On December 2, 2012 kreuz.net went from previously non-public reasons from the mains. The Süddeutsche Zeitung saw this as merit Bergers and the coordinated action of him "Stop kreuz.net ". Shortly after the shutdown reimbursed Guido Rodheudt, a spokesman for the network of Catholic priests, had referred to a criminal complaint against Berger, Rodheudt as a follower of kreuz.net. According to Berger, the investigation has been discontinued by the prosecution Aachen for lack of sufficient evidence in March 2013.

Comments on Benedict XVI.

Berger has repeatedly stated that he. Of a homosexual disposition of Pope Benedict XVI go out that this attempt to cover up with homophobic statements. In an interview with the daily newspaper on November 30, 2012 Berger stated that "there is no New Year's speech of the Pope, where he not only indirectly referred to homosexuals as second class citizens and homosexual predispositions be demonized. " The journalist Alexander Kissler wrote in this connection in the magazine The European of 4 December 2012 that Berger, in this respect, write the untruth and with his criticism of the Pope exceeds the limit for defamation. Of the current seven New Year message of Benedict XVI. three had no relation to the topic of marriage or homosexuality; is scarce family policy notes would find in the other four speeches.

The holy appearance

In his book The holy appearance: As a gay theologian in the Catholic Church, which went through three editions within the first six weeks after publication, Berger critically analyzes the way the Catholic Church with homosexuality.

He notes an increasing homophobia in the Catholic Church. The number of homosexual gifted Catholic priest was disproportionately high, their since 2005 explicitly condemned as inadmissible by the Church's Magisterium assessment was being used by church leaders to these priests loyal as possible, conservative to keep, that is in the current context.

Bergers book contributes heavily autobiographical, by granting an insight into a particular phase of his life. He also sheds light on some self-critical and in the duct of a work-up his own past behavior as well as his membership of certain Catholic circles, where he has since turned his back.

The journalist Christian Geyer wrote: " So much seems to me to be clear for the moral theological evaluation of homosexuality: With the mix of discretion and repression of the Vatican no longer comes on to this book. " Thomas Assheuer said in his review in Time: "This book belongs to the most incredible what is currently reading about the Catholic Church. "

The theologian Manfred Hauke ​​designated in his capacity as CEO of the Promotion of the journal Theology in a statement dated 15 January 2011, the book as a " diatribe ". He stopped in front of Berger, he PROJECTIN in his work the long time lived by himself "holy glow " now on other people. Also, he never criticized the Church or the Pope in his earlier publications, but this do now more violent and polemical. Berger's way of life was " dominated by falsehood and dissimulation ." Also imagine Berger in his book inaccurate claims about the magazine on and put the Fördergemeinschaft wrongly, you have been there know of his " Church teaching is not appropriate lifestyle " and used this knowledge to put him under pressure. Hauke ​​called the readers of the magazine on to pray that Berger may turn away from his " false starts " and lead a life that " the dignity of Catholic Christians" corresponds.


  • Own publications: Nature and grace in systematic theology and religious education from the mid-19th century to the present. S. Roderer, Regensburg 1998, ISBN 3-89073-980-6
  • Thomas Aquinas and the Liturgy. Ed. Thomisticae, Cologne 2000, ISBN 3-89811-286-1 ( Translation into English [ USA] and French ).
  • Thomism. Large leitmotifs of the Thomistic synthesis and its relevance for the present. Ed. Thomisticae, Cologne 2001, ISBN 3-8311-1620-2
  • Thomas Aquinas' "Summa Theologiae ". University Press, Darmstadt 2004, ISBN 3-534-17456-9
  • What is a sacrament? The hl. Thomas Aquinas and the Sacraments in general. Franz Schmitt, Siegburg 2004, ISBN 3-87710-278-6
  • Thomas Aquinas encounter. St. Ulrich, Augsburg 2002, ISBN 3-929246-77-5 (Translation into Hungarian: Budapest 2008)
  • In the school of St.. Thomas Aquinas. Studies in the History of Thomism. nova et vetera, Bonn 2005, ISBN 3-936741-30-1
  • The holy appearance: As a gay theologian in the Catholic Church. Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-550-08855-1
  • Karl Rahner - Critical Approaches. Franz Schmitt, Siegburg 2004, ISBN 3-87710-280-8
  • Together with Jörgen Vijgen: Thomistenlexikon. nova et vetera, Bonn 2006, ISBN 3-936741-37-9